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Monochrome camera choice

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#1 senzala

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 12:38 AM

Hi all

I'm looking for a decent monochrome camera for guiding and solar/lunar imaging.

Would Zwo asi 120mm be sufficient or do I need more resolution?

Thanks

#2 moonrider

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 01:08 AM

I use the ZWO for guiding and it works great. Never used it for anything else. I would think it would do ok for lunar but not for solar...



#3 bobzeq25

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 01:22 AM

Hi all

I'm looking for a decent monochrome camera for guiding and solar/lunar imaging.

Would Zwo asi 120mm be sufficient or do I need more resolution?

Thanks

Resolution is not really the issue.

 

The chip on the 120 is tiny, so the FOV on solar or lunar will be small.  But, it's extremely economical, about $150.  It will guide fine with a guidescope, not so well with an off axis guider.

 

The 174 has a much bigger chip.  Better FOV.  Better sensitivity.  Excellent solar/lunar camera, although the large pixels may mean you'll want a Barlow.   Guides well on anything, the big chip may be underutilized on some off axis guiders, because their prism is not big enough to cover it.  Not a performance issue, though.  About $500.

 

I have both.  Started with a 120, now use the 174.

 

Those bookend your choices.  The 290 and 178 are in between pricewise, but still have a small chip.  More sensitivity than a 120, so better for off axis guiders.

 

For an OAG, you'll want the mini versions.  Those come in 120, 290, and 174.

 

Bottom line.  With a small budget, and no intention to use an OAG, the 120 will work, although you'll only capture a small part of the Moon and Sun.  If budget permits, the 174 is an excellent choice.

 

Note that you asked the question on a DSO imaging site.  You'll get more and better answers about lunar/solar on the relevant forums.


Edited by bobzeq25, 01 December 2020 - 01:50 AM.

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#4 senzala

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 09:18 AM

Resolution is not really the issue.

 

The chip on the 120 is tiny, so the FOV on solar or lunar will be small.  But, it's extremely economical, about $150.  It will guide fine with a guidescope, not so well with an off axis guider.

 

The 174 has a much bigger chip.  Better FOV.  Better sensitivity.  Excellent solar/lunar camera, although the large pixels may mean you'll want a Barlow.   Guides well on anything, the big chip may be underutilized on some off axis guiders, because their prism is not big enough to cover it.  Not a performance issue, though.  About $500.

 

I have both.  Started with a 120, now use the 174.

 

Those bookend your choices.  The 290 and 178 are in between pricewise, but still have a small chip.  More sensitivity than a 120, so better for off axis guiders.

 

For an OAG, you'll want the mini versions.  Those come in 120, 290, and 174.

 

Bottom line.  With a small budget, and no intention to use an OAG, the 120 will work, although you'll only capture a small part of the Moon and Sun.  If budget permits, the 174 is an excellent choice.

 

Note that you asked the question on a DSO imaging site.  You'll get more and better answers about lunar/solar on the relevant forums.

I have barlow and focal reducers so it will not be a problem to get close to the sun. 

I use a evostar 120mm refractor.

I just wondering if I can get nice pictures of sunspots and penumbra with camares like 120, 290, 174?
I already own a 290mc - colour version, but as I understand monochrome cameras are optimal for solar imaging as well as guiding. 

Thank you


Edited by senzala, 01 December 2020 - 09:22 AM.


#5 bobzeq25

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 01:05 PM

I have barlow and focal reducers so it will not be a problem to get close to the sun. 

I use a evostar 120mm refractor.

I just wondering if I can get nice pictures of sunspots and penumbra with camares like 120, 290, 174?
I already own a 290mc - colour version, but as I understand monochrome cameras are optimal for solar imaging as well as guiding. 

Thank you

Ask on the solar forum.  But, I started a thread there on a potential purchase of a solar scope.  There was some info about cameras.  People seemed to like the 174.

 

If the cost isn't too much, I think the 174 is your clear "best" choice for everything you want to do.  Mine guides well, and I use it on both a guidescope and an OAG.  Here's a lunar image of mine, with my 130mm F7 and 2.5X Barlow.  Click on it to zoom in some.

 

https://www.astrobin.com/328429/0/

 

Here's someone else's Sun with a simple cheap white light filter.

 

https://www.astrobin.com/298434/

 

And one with a very expensive ($1500?) Quark H alpha filter.  No doubt an experienced solar imager, also.

 

https://www.astrobin.com/esv3f4/0/

 

The point of the last image is mostly to show you that some very serious people use a 174 on the Sun.


Edited by bobzeq25, 01 December 2020 - 01:36 PM.



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